New Delhi:Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi  in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on  Wednesday. PTI Photo / TV GRAB  (PTI7_20_2016_000018B)
New Delhi:Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI Photo / TV GRAB (PTI7_20_2016_000018B)

New Delhi : One can never say whether Rahul Gandhi is dozing or is in deep thought. So, when Gandhi was spotted in a video clip with his head bent, propped by his arm and eyes seemingly closed, the electronic media had a field day lampooning him for catching his 40 winks while the Lok Sabha was discussing the Dalit sensitivities.

In all probability, the ‘shut down’ was momentary, possibly induced by the din in the House or the heat outside, but Congressmen went in an overdrive trying to defend the sleeping ‘Yuvraj.’

Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury sought to put a spin on the alleged nap, saying that the Congress vice-president was just “resting his eyes”. “(He) wasn’t sleeping. Can anyone sleep through that ruckus? We (MPs) just close our eyes for some respite,” Chowdhury said.

For Gandhi, of course, is a sleep veteran: he was ensnared in similar circumstances in 2014 amid a discussion on inflation and escalating food prices.

Some Congress leaders took the line that the 46-year-old was checking his inbox. “It’s not a crime to check a cell phone,” reasoned Abhishek Manu Singhvi. Congress supporter and columnist Tehseen Poonawalla appeared to suggest Gandhi was having a Zen moment. “FYI dear media and BJP – RG is into meditation & one of the best ways to listen to a speaker is to close your eyes, breathe and hear,” he tweeted.

The party also showed a photograph of PM Modi in the Lok Sabha on November 26, 2015, in which, it claimed, he appears to be sleeping.

It was definitely a nap, concluded Mayawati with a degree of finality, and claimed that it was symptomatic of his party’s disinterest in the plight of the Dalits. Incidentally, Gandhi’s is scheduled to travel on Thursday to Una, the epicentre of the Dalit protests in Gujarat.

The ‘forty winks’ went viral with the online denizens responding with gusto to the hash tag ‘sleeping beauty.’

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